CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
BACKGROUND—FIELD OF INVENTION
This invention generally relates to illuminated display devices. More particularly, the invention relates to an improved illuminated sign box for text and graphics with quickly changeable display panels. The light boxes of this invention may be especially advantageously used to create quickly changeable lighted displays for special occasions such as Holidays.
BACKGROUND—DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART
Numerous illuminated boxes have been provided in prior art. None of the prior art illuminated boxes provide a combination of low voltage illumination and quickly changeable display panels that can be changed without movement of any other part of the light box.
Prior art light boxes generally provide for the occasional, not frequent, changing of the display media, typically a transparent plastic sheet utilizing images formed thereon. U.S. Pat. No. 4,851,971 to MacLagan, Jul. 25, 1989 provides for front-loading of transparencies to allow more frequent changes of the displays but does not address low voltage lighting. Each side wall of the light box of U.S. Pat. No. 4,851,971 includes an L-shaped flange to provide a frame mounting flange wall. These flanges are not part of the light boxes of this invention.
The prior art light boxes also generally provide illumination from fluorescent lighting mounted on the rear side of the light box. The light boxes of U.S. Pat. No. 5,454,181 to Rothman, et al., Oct. 3, 1995 utilizes standard low voltage miniature lights for illumination and also includes display panels that are inserted in a track to hold them. The light box of this invention does not include tracks for the insertion of display panels.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,098,326 to Campbell, Aug. 8, 2000 includes low voltage miniature lights mounted on an assembly panel located inside the light box. The light box of this invention does not include an assembly panel for the lights.
Several prior art light boxes require the movement of some part of the light box other than the display panel in order to change the display panel. Light boxes of this type include U.S. Pat. No. 4.254.457 to Lordier, Mar. 3, 1981; U.S. Pat. No. 1,857,882 to Shipman, May 10, 1932; U.S. Pat. No. 4,380,880 to Gandy, Apr. 26, 1983: U.S. Pat. No. 4,766,685 to Kramer, Aug. 33, 1988; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,387,522 to Sommers-Szoszky, Jun. 14, 1983.
This invention is an illuminated light box with display panels that can be quickly changed for special occasions such as Holidays. The light box can be used outdoors or indoors and utilizes standard low voltage lights for backlighting. A transparent or translucent display panel bearing one or more decorative or informational images is mounted within the rectangular opening defined by the frame.
OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES
Accordingly, several objects and advantages of this light box are:
(a) To provide a light box where the display panels can be changed in seconds without any movement of the other parts of the light box;
(b) To provide a display that can easily be used year round for numerous occasions such as Christmas, New Years, birthdays, Holidays, etc;
(c) To provide a display that would use standard low voltage Christmas lights;
(d) To provide a display that can be used indoors or outdoors;
Other objects and advantages are;
(a) To provide a display that can display text, graphics, outlines, or photographs;
(e) To provide a light-weight display that can be easily installed and easily removed;
(f) To provide a display that can be made from inexpensive materials;
(b) To provide a display that can be used alone, in multiples, side by side, or stacked;
(c) To provide a display that can be easily stored;
(d) To provide a durable display;
(e) To provide a light box that can display a variety of display materials such as transparencies, decals, cut outs, and stickers.
Further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from a of the drawings and ensuing description.
Display panel 18, as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, is attached to the assembled light box by slightly bending display panel 18 and inserting it behind the frame formed by lip 11 and side caps 14 and in front of translucent panel 16. Display panel 18 is generally rectangular shaped with dimensions that allow for the easy insertion and retention into housing 10. The thickness of display panel 18 should be thin enough to allow for bending for insertion into housing 10 but not so thin as to be flimsy and thus fall out of housing 10. Display panel 18 can be made from a variety of materials that would work well with backlighting displays. These materials could include clear plastic sheets, transparency material, decals, stickers, and cut-out materials. The preferred material is transparency material like that used for overhead transparency projectors. Display panel 18 can be removed in seconds allowing for frequent changes of the display. Display panel 18 could be used to display text, graphics, outlines, silhouettes, or photographs. Display panel 18, as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, is an example of a display of the text “Happy Holidays.”